Sheila Hicks, The Silk Rainforest, ca. 1975, silk, linen, and cotton, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Bob and Lynn Johnston through Educational Ventures, Inc., 2009.11A-I
Hicks's architectural installations are considered ambitious expressions in post-war American art and contributed to shifting the perception of fiber from simply a domestic pursuit to an artist's medium. She has shown a particular sensitivity to weaving traditions, as well as the interplay of color, texture, and space, demonstrating the influence of her education under renowned colorist Josef Albers, his wife, the prominent weaver Anni Albers, and architect Louis Kahn. She was recognized by the American Institute of Architects in 1974 with a gold medal for "the successful integration of art and architecture."
AT&T's textile collection was disbanded when the campus was sold in 2002. Bob and Lynn Johnston, friends of Hicks devoted to the preservation of her work, purchased the tapestries and shipped them to Paris, where Hicks has maintained her studio since 1964. Using the original bolts of hand-woven Bangalore silk, linen thread, and embroidery cotton—materials left dormant for thirty years—Hicks and the small staff responsible for their original manufacture painstakingly restored the work.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009
The Silk Rainforest
- ca. 1975
- Not on view
96 x 270 x 3 in. (243.8 x 685.8 x 7.6 cm)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Bob and Lynn Johnston through Educational Ventures, Inc.
- Mediums Description
- silk, linen, and cotton
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI